Management guru, Tom Peters, at a live event, was extolling the virtues of training managers in proper leadership and management skills. One senior manager asked, “What if we train them, and they leave? He responded, “What if you don’t train them, and they stay?”
Training in leadership skills is a gamble. Leadership training is not proprietary. It is personal. If a supervisor decides to leave, the training leaves with them. Leadership skills are personal skills; as are skills in communication, coaching, empowerment, career development, team building, motivation, caring, and mentoring. But they are the skills that employees expect supervisors to have.
Consider this: Two supervisors side-by-side with the same number of years of experience. One supervisor has the above-noted skills. The other does not. Who do you think is going to be more effective in their position? Who do you think is going to easily deliver higher production, lower incidents of safety, and better cohesiveness as a team?
The benefits of training supervisors cannot be understated. No one has more influence over the day-to-day behaviors of employees than frontline supervisors. No one. Period. No one has more influence on frontline culture, safety, performance, productivity, attitude, morale, and motivation than a leadership-trained frontline supervisor.
Research has shown that investing in supervisor leadership skills development can have significant positive impacts on both job satisfaction and turnover rates. When supervisors get the right training, support, and resources, they are better equipped and more prepared to lead their teams effectively. That creates a culture of trust and respect and promotes better employee engagement. This leads to higher levels of job satisfaction among employees, who feel valued and supported in their roles.
When supervisors are trained to handle challenges like conflict resolution and performance issues, they are more willing to address these concerns before they escalate, reducing the likelihood of turnover and attrition.
By investing in the professional growth of supervisors, employers will benefit from increased productivity, greater staff loyalty, and a healthier work environment. With so much at stake, it is time for businesses to recognize the vital role that supervisors play and take steps to ensure their ongoing development.
From Kevin Burns' forthcoming new book, The CareFull Supervisor: The Tools to Succeed and Be the Supervisor Employees Want to Have. Coming January 2024. CareFullSupervisor.com